Marijuana is now legal in Oklahoma. Residents and outside observers alike have wondered how the legalization and normalization of cannabinoids has affected the area.
According to Poteau Assistant Chief of Police Greg Russell, it hasn’t.
“At this juncture, it doesn’t seem the legalization has changed anything, as far as arrests or crime. It is very much business as usual… I’ve spoken to every single dispensary operator in Poteau. They are all very knowledgable… They know what they can and cannot do to the letter…It is very early, still, so that could change with time. At this point in time, though, there is no difference,” said Russell.
This doesn’t surprise Christie Mapes, co-owner and manager of The Spunky Skunk dispensary in Poteau.
“The town and law enforcement are on our side. I’m not shocked that there has been no rise in crime. This isn’t about getting high, it’s about bringing people medicine.”
Authorities say it is too early to give a definitive answer as to the long-term effects, but, at least for now, green seems to continue to be a “go” in the local area.